Pros And Cons of Working In a Male-dominated Industry
This is a list based on my personal female experience working in a male dominated industry for three years.
- •PRO: NoveltyA lot of time at work I feel like the authority on what females think, feel, and do. I try to use this unique platform in a way that opens the minds of my male coworkers and makes them more aware of subtle sexist undertones and antifeminist ideals in their language and lives.
- •CON: Sexual harassmentIt's very real and very prevalent. I once had a coworker walk up to me unannounced and show me a picture of his genitals and reporting it to my male superiors was almost as traumatizing as seeing the photo.
- •PRO: SolidarityBecause there are so few females, we tend to stick together.
- •CON: PressureIt's not uncommon for most of the males I work with to have an opinion about what I and every female who walks in is wearing, eating, and doing.
- •PRO: You toughen upMy job has been a huge part of my confidence evolution. I no longer allow people (especially the males I work with) to make me feel silly for the things I like. See: When You Love Yourself,
- •CON: You work harder for respectIn the industry I work in, females are typically viewed as support staff so getting ahead can be tough.
- •PRO: SupportIt's common for my male coworkers to jump in whenever a customer gets angry with me. While I am completely capable of handling myself in situations like these, it's comforting to know that whenever I need a mental break, they have my back.
- •CON: Sexist expectationsIt's also common for some of the males I work with to express legitimate anger when a new female is hired and she's not conventionally beautiful/tall/proportioned/all of the above. I've also been exposed to several underhanded comments implying that female coworkers should be the ones to clean the disgusting break room sink when it's dirty.
- •PRO: Spotless bathroomsI share three bathroom stalls with just three other women at work and it is glorious.
- •CON: DetailsThere are no trash cans in the bathroom stalls and the uniforms only come in men sizes.
- •PRO: You stick outWhile it can be annoying to stick out like a high-heeled sore thumb in a business meeting full of men, it sometimes pays to be the face everyone remembers.
- •CON: MansplainingI am constantly hearing things like, "What you need to understand about this job is..." which means I am constantly sarcastically repeating, "You know, I've actually done [insert job responsibility here] before."